We last saw top UK featherweight Alex Enlund in a rip-roaring battle with Bristol's Nad Narimani back in November of last year, and that performance crowned the Sixth Sense man Cage Warriors world champion after five scintillating rounds. The battle at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena was the culmination of an excellent run of form and finishes for Enlund, and he topped it off by wrapping the championship gold around his waist.
A lot can happen in nine months but fortunately for the South Shields man this doesn't include a Junior-esque pregnancy. Instead, he's used the time productively whilst waiting on answers from the dormant CWFC promotion.
"It's been a bag of mixed emotions," he said off the layoff. "Thankfully I have a lot of good people around me and I was able to enjoy my training and spend a lot of time improving. I'm a better martial artist than 9 months ago and also a more improved athlete."
Alex after one of his last training sessions ahead of this weekend's battle, sporting the Revgear trunks
Not only has he taken the time to make improvements in his own game, but he's also been helping to hone the skills of his up-and-coming fight team. Without a fight of his own to focus on, his coaching role has served as a fulfilling stop gap as the likes of Adam Proctor and Dean Latif continue to have success in the professional ranks.
With a new acquisition in long-time training partner Liam James, it continues to build momentum.
"At Sixth Sense MMA I'm not just the coach, I'm a training partner for the guys. Spending time studying and looking at how we can all progress our skill set has not just helped the guys but I feel like my game has progressed dramatically in my time out of competition."
With that said, in the prime of his career and with Europe's most heralded belt around his waist, the competitor in Enlund is still eager to return. He does just that at Adrenalin Fight Nights in Swansea this weekend, taking on fellow CWFC vet Phil Raeburn in the main event.
He'll also be travelling into enemy territory as Raeburn enjoys the hometown crowd on Saturday night, but that does nothing to dent Enlund's confidence ahead of the contest.
"I have seen Phil fight and l am aware of the danger he presents," offered Enlund. "I'm very confident in my ability and will enjoy putting my skills to the test again."
In order to keep the ball rolling Enlund must take these opportunities with both hands. Though he's always hopeful of a CWFC title defence, it's also quite clear that higher powers will be keeping tabs on his performances given the gravitas his title holds.
It continues on Saturday night in Swansea, and the Fightstore Pro team with Alex the best of luck as a great ambassador for the company.
You can follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexEnlund
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